Choosing Catholic Higher Education
Whether you are a faithful practitioner of the Catholic tradition or have no affiliation, you'll find that Catholic higher education offers a unique path: delivering academic excellence, preparing students to become leaders, and exploring today’s professional responsibilities while incorporating personal responsibility for social justice.
A long tradition of academic excellence
Catholic colleges and universities are universally renowned for their academic excellence and are among the world's most prestigious learning institutions. Many Catholic institutions are cited again and again in college rankings featured in U.S. News & World Report, Barron's, Time, and Money magazines. Catholic education is synonymous with critical thinking, evaluating society's challenges, and bringing intelligence, practicality, and ethics to problem-solving. Catholic colleges foster creativity and independence: you’ll discover and develop gifts that lead you to make great contributions to society.
A holistic learning environment
In college you’re not just preparing for life — you’re living it! That’s why Catholic colleges and universities focus on developing well-rounded graduates, capable of creative problem-solving and rising to meet challenges, both inside and outside the classroom. The sense of community drives the experience, with opportunities to develop responsibility as part of service clubs, spiritual retreats, professional and social clubs, and more.
A values-oriented education
Catholic colleges and universities offer a strong foundation for fostering faith development for students coming from all faith traditions, or no faith tradition. Catholic students will find fellowship and worship opportunities through organizations, Mass offerings, and retreats. Students of other (or no) faith traditions will find a welcoming community made up of diverse perspectives. The values-oriented education that comes from conversations about faith and ethics shapes today's students into tomorrow's leaders — ethical decision-makers, committed individuals, and fully prepared respondents meeting society's increasing challenges.
The call to serve
Education for action and service is woven into the core of academics and co-curricular programs. Students are educated on issues of social justice and how to use their talents and gifts to enact change. You’ll find that the call to service is more than filler for your résumé; it is a way of life that will stay with you long after you graduate. The result is a legacy of graduates who are prepared for a happy life because they value service, community, learning and action.
Diversity of options
Catholic colleges and universities in the United States are extremely diverse, with each institution offering distinctive strengths — academically, culturally and spiritually. In choosing the right school for you, consider enrollment size; location; or academic, athletic and social offerings. You'll find women’s colleges; a historically black university; major universities with law, medical, and other professional schools; and institutions granting pontifical degrees. You might also consider the religious order of the institution and its particular mission, finding one that resonates with you.
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"At its best, Catholic education is inclusive, transformative, and offers students the opportunity to develop themselves spiritually, academically, and emotionally...Catholic education emphasizes the utilization of God's gifts for the betterment of the world in which we exist."
– Brian Troyer, Dean of Admissions, Marquette University (WI)
Featured Student Profiles
A 2021 graduate of Cedarcrest High School in Duvall, Washington, Allison attends Seattle University. She shared that she chose to attend Seattle University "because of the small class sizes and the fact that my mother attended SU and she really liked it."
A 2021 graduate of John Paul the Great Academy in Lafayette, Louisiana, Ava attends University of Dallas. "I chose the University of Dallas for its rich, authentic Catholicism above all," she says.
Azalia, a 2021 graduate of Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa attends University of Notre Dame. She shared that "it is a top Catholic college, and I absolutely loved what I learned about it when I searched for colleges."
Catherine, a 2021 graduate of Visitation School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, will attend University of St. Thomas (MN). She shared that she chose St. Thomas for many reasons, including "the welcoming atmosphere and the incredible school spirit."
A 2021 graduate of Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Massachusetts, Gianna attends Emmanuel College. Many factors played a part in her decision to enroll, including the fact that Emmanuel's campus is close to her home.
A 2021 graduate of Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania, Jack attends John Carroll University. "I am most excited about the environment and culture," he says.
A 2021 graduate of Canon-McMillan Senior High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Jackson attends Mercyhurst University. He says he chose Mercyhurst because "it offered a more personalized education in comparison to the big schools I applied to."
A 2021 graduate of Liverpool High School in Liverpool, New York, Jacob attends St. John Fisher College. He said many factors played a part in his decision to enroll, including the feeling he got when visiting campus, "it felt like home to me."
A 2021 graduate of St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Justin attends Walsh University. He shared that one reason he chose to attend Walsh is he "liked the smaller college feel."
A 2021 graduate of Kittatinny Regional High School in Newton, New Jersey, Kyra attends Xavier University. "I chose to attend Xavier because of the community and school spirit!"
Nhung, a 2021 graduate of Kerr High School in Houston, Texas attends University of St Thomas (TX). She says the friendly and welcoming campus is what helped her decide to enroll.
Nick, a 2021 graduate of Brophy College Prep in Phoenix, Arizona, attends Santa Clara University. He chose SCU because "the prospect of receiving a Jesuit education in one of my favorite parts of the country was an opportunity that was tough to pass up!"
A 2021 graduate of Belleville Township High School West in Belleville, Illinois, Ny'La attends Quincy University. "Quincy is truly a school that 100% and wholeheartedly cares about each student who attends."
A 2021 graduate of Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Massachusetts, Olivia attends Emmanuel College. Emmanuel's location in Boston is what led her to apply and ultimately enroll.
A 2021 graduate of The American International School of Vienna in Vienna, Austria, Tomas attends Santa Clara University. Tomas shared that he chose SCU "because of its location, Catholic values, and community."
A 2021 graduate of Macris School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Viveca attends Loyola University Chicago. There were many reasons she chose Loyola, including "its cultural diversity, its broad academics, and its way of including international students."